President Bush used the occasion of the first Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America summit in Waco, Texas, in 2005 to call The Minuteman Project “vigilantes.” Yesterday, at the third SPP summit in Montebello, Quebec, he charged that anyone who was concerned the SPP was advancing a North American Union agenda or supporting NAFTA Superhighways was a “conspiracy theorist.”
Such accusations likely will end up being the most memorable moments of their respective meetings, as other meetings, agendas and decisions have been cloaked in secrecy.
As the Montebello event closed, Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined to state that the national sovereignty of the three nations was not at risk, even though under SPP North American integration had advanced to the point where national independence was being balanced by international interdependence.
The leaders then accepted questions, responding to inquiries about Iraq, and finishing with the three leaders declaring that Mexico’s failed war on narco-terrorist drug lords was such a continental crisis that U.S. military aid might be required to fight the threat.
The entire Montebello confab took less than 24 hours, barely time for the leaders to fly to the remote Canadian resort in the Quebec woods, have dinner, sleep, hold a press conference and leave.
Calderon openly professed that he needed to return to Mexico to attend to the crisis of Hurricane Dean.
But an underlying reason may have been that all three leaders were so weak in their own countries that none of them really wanted to take on publicly the burden of openly advancing the SPP North American integration agenda when that agenda was increasingly under vocal opposition, especially in Canada and the United States.
Twice during the press conference, Harper took pains to profess that SPP was really not his idea, but a deal he inherited from his liberal predecessor, Paul Martin.
The meeting Bush defended from nameless “conspiracy theorists” was largely held behind closed doors where top bureaucrats from the three governments spent their limited meeting time listening, evidently to the complaints that the multi-national business leaders of the North American Competitiveness Council had about jelly bean regulations, according to Harper’s comments at the press conference.
The leaders affirmed that border security was discussed, yet there was no mention of plans to stem the tide of illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States, or about congressionally-approved plans to build a barricade fence.
They expressed concern that should another 9/11 crisis happen some future politicians may have a knee-jerk reaction to close the borders, and assumed that would be detrimental to the SPP’s agenda, the continued prosperity of North American multi-national corporations.
Members of the media were bused each day more than an hour from Ottawa and carefully monitored by security during the meetings.
In front of the cameras, the leaders professed how important such annual in-person SPP meetings are, but press observers noted that the three shuttled away in their helicopters after the press conference without even a final lunch together.